For a family movie the fourth instalment of the Ice Age franchise ticks all the basic boxes – but it just drifts by without bringing anything new to the table.
Even the sideshow of Jurassic squirrel Scrat chasing down his lively acorn seems to be running out of ideas.
The decade-old original film was an enigmatic entry – the first from Blue Sky studios – when Pixar and the likes of Shrek were still in their fledgling years, but after the series was rejuvenated with its successfully colourful third entry Dawn of the Dinosaurs, this is extremely straightforward fare.
With a voice cast that adds MTV generation favourites Nicki Minaj, Drake and Jennifer Lopez to the established prehistoric cast of Manny (Ray Romano), Sid (John Leguizamo), Diego (Denis Leary) and Ellie (Queen Latifah), there’s no doubting everyone wants a piece of this profitable pie.
But it’s sadly already kind of been done before in the second below-par entry The Meltdown, and only the inclusion of ape Captain Gutt (Peter Dinklage) and his seafaring pirates – along with Wanda Sykes’ granny of Sid the Sloth for tiresome comedic relief – adds anything new to proceedings.
When the continents break up – like it did round the earth many moons ago – Manny is separated from his partner Ellie and their daughter Peaches, and has to find a way back to them, with his regular cohorts by his side.
And with a few gags thrown in Continental Drift provides still-impressive computer-generated animation and paint-by-numbers entertainment that will while away ninety minutes of time for younger kids – absolutely no problem.
The only thing is with the likes of Despicable Me and Disney/Pixar’s forthcoming Brave raising the bar – those of us looking for more substantial ingenuity will find this laden with generic cracks.
Voice cast: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Jennifer Lopez, Queen Latifah, Aubrey ‘Drake’ Graham, Nicki Minaj, Peter Dinklage, Wanda Sykes, Seann William Scott, Keke Palmer, Josh Peck, Nick Frost, Kunal Nayyar, Josh Gad, Alan Tudyk, Patrick Stewart
Running Time: 1hr 30mins
Director: Steve Martino & Mike Thurmeier